From police procedurals to cozy amateur detectives, incredible mystery series have been flashing across our television screens for decades. With new shows popping up left and right, there's never a shortage of whodunits. But if you're looking for the cream of the crop, you've come to the right place. For the most gripping mysteries, captivating detectives, and shocking twists, here are 13 of the best mystery shows of all time.
Agatha Christie's Marple
Based off the novels by the Queen of Crime herself, this series follows elderly spinster Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) as she cleverly unravels the crimes of St. Mary Mead. Her reputation as an investigator precedes her, and even when the police are hesitant to outsource, they turn to Marple for help. This show ran for six seasons and 23 episodes, and is waiting for you to binge-watch now on BritBox!
Few shows on television were as big of a phenomenon as Sherlock. This modern adaptation of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. The brilliant but socially blunt Holmes and his new flatmate, Afghanistan veteran Watson, use their unique talents to solve complex crimes. Gaining a wildly dedicated fanbase, this show ran for four seasons and 15 episodes, and is available to watch now on Amazon Prime.
In a California town divided between the extremely wealthy and the poor, teenage Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a pariah at her high school. Obsessed with finding answers about her best friend's murder, Veronica uses her sharp wit and reckless bravery to help her father keep his private investigator business afloat. Running for four seasons and 72 episodes, this incredible series is available to watch on Hulu!
Agatha Christie's Poirot
Another iconic Agatha Christie adaptation, this series follows eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet). With his faithful English sidekick Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Poirot dives into whodunits from England to the Mediterranean. This series ran for 13 seasons and 70 episodes, and is now available for streaming on BritBox.
How to Get Away With Murder
While this series follows criminal defense professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her law students, most of the thrilling drama and suspense happen outside of the courtroom. A twisted murder plot soon changes the lives of everyone it touches. This series ran for six seasons and 90 episodes, and is available for your binge-watching pleasure on Netflix.
The weirdest show to ever grace television screens, the surreal mystery of Twin Peaks turned the show into a beloved cult classic. FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) arrives in a peculiar town to investigate the murder of a young woman. The series originally ran for two seasons and 30 episodes, but received another 18-episode season in 2017. Stream it now on Paramount+!
Set in Belfast, Ireland, this series stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Tasked with unraveling a politically sensitive murder, a cold but dedicated policeman goes toe to toe with a seemingly loving father who is secretly a serial killer. This series ran for three seasons and 17 episodes, and is available now on Peacock!
Based on GK Chesterton's novel series of the same name, this show follows the titular Father Brown (Mark Williams). Throughout his years of listening to the confessions of his parishioners, Father Brown has honed a sharp insight into humanity. He uses that keen insight to help solve crimes. This series ran for 11 seasons and 111 episodes, and is currently on BritBox, waiting for you to binge-watch.
Murder, She Wrote
Cabot Cove, Maine is the murder capital of the United States. Luckily, they have mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to piece together the clues. This iconic series ran for 12 seasons and 264 episodes. It's available now on Peacock to fulfill all of your mystery needs.
A television sensation, Killing Eve stars the incredible Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Eve Polastri is a brilliant but bored security operative. Villanelle is a genius yet psychopathic assassin. Evenly matched, the women fall into obsession with one another as they engage in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. This series ran for four seasons and 32 episodes, and is available for streaming now on Hulu.
Life on Mars
Adding a twist on the typical police procedural, Life on Mars follows sharp DCI Sam Tyler (John Simm) as he finds himself mysteriously transported back in time to 1973. While he attempts to find a way back to his present time of 2006, he uses his investigative talents to help the police of the past. This series ran for two seasons and 16 episodes, and is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Idris Elba stars as the titular John Luther, a brilliant homicide detective who has his own violent demons to battle. As he hunts down killers, criminals find that he may be just as dangerous as the people he's trying to throw behind bars. This series ran for five seasons and 21 episodes, and is available for streaming now on BritBox.
This series gives a glimpse into the sexism in law enforcement as it centers on Detective Inspector Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren). A skilled investigator, Tennison sets out to prove herself to her colleagues as she looks into cases of serial murder. This series ran for seven seasons and 15 episodes, and is available now on BritBox.